As a suburbanite growing up in the Chicagoland area, it is at this time every year there is one thing I know that will without a doubt happen: The Taste of Chicago. And, as long as I’ve lived here, which has been my whole life, I haven’t stepped foot into the Taste of Chicago.
People would say, “Why not??!!! You’re missing out on some great food and awesome music!” Really?? Am I? For the record, I can also get great food and awesome music at a nice restaurant, or my own home which is equipped with cool air conditioning and a nice sound system. Oh, and did I mention there are also no strangers standing in my living room sweating without a shirt on?
I just don’t get the fascination. Please someone explain it to me. To be a “Tastegoer” (that’s what they call ’em these days), subjects you to the following:
1. Transporting yourself either by car, or best bet, public transportation along with about 500,000 other people on any given taste day. So, let’s say I take the train downtown and then cab it to the Taste. That’s fine with me. But, what happens when the train is packed with people and you end up standing next to someone who doesn’t realize there are products on store shelves to actually clean you and make you smell better than a pair of gym locker feet?
2. Crowds. I despise them with every ounce of my being.Why? Because I always end up smooched, scrunched and jammed into a pack of 300 plus pound individuals with no shirts on because they’ve taken them off to wipe their sweaty faces and the bbq sauce off their mouth. You’ve seen them too – don’t deny it.
3. Heat. In order for me to enjoy food, there are two requirements: 1. A place to sit, and 2. A/C. If it’s too hot outside, how can you possibly think of sticking a smoldering turkey bbq leg in your mouth?
4. Turkey Legs and Cheesecake. WTF? Is that all this city has to offer? When was the last time you spoke to a friend and said, “Yeah! I went to this great restaurant last night and I had a big, fricking HUGE turkey leg followed up with a big slice of cheesecake.” How about never unless you eat regularly at Medieval Times?
5. Cost. Although I have never been to the Taste of Chicago, I would imagine that between the cost of transportation, admittance, and of course, the food and entertainment, it must get pretty expensive for a family of four.
So, as you are standing in those long lines waiting for your turkey leg, and dig down deep into your sweat lined pockets for that soggy cash, just think that you could be at home in nice cool air conditioning, maybe not eating a turkey leg, but anything on your own bbq, which is not surrounded by a horde of people. Sounds good to me!